Grab Your Pen and Pad—Here’s How the First Black CEO of P.F. Chang’s Starts His Day

Grab Your Pen and Pad—Here’s How the First Black CEO of P.F. Chang’s Starts His Day

Entrepreneurs often talk about the importance of creating habits or routines for success.

For Damola Adamolekun, the first Black CEO of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, an Asian casual-dining restaurant chain in the U.S., a morning routine sets him up for the day.

The 33-year-old spoke to Business Insider about starting his day at 6 a.m. in his at-home office. He shared:

“First, I review our daily flash reports, which detail restaurant operating performance from the previous day and period to date.”

“I make notes of any interesting observations, questions, or oddities from my review to discuss with our COO Art Kilmer later in the morning.”

Then, the Black executive said he moves on to everyone’s favorite task—sarcasm intended—checking emails, but not just any kind of way. Adamolekun said he prioritizes “low-intensity” emails first, or those that don’t require much thought or time like “an email asking for final approval on a marketing design.” Next, the CEO shifts his attention to more time-consuming email requests. He shared with Business Insider:

“It’s important not to rush these big decisions that can impact business, and instead to take time to analyze and get it right.”

The executive arrives at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro’s corporate headquarters at 7:30 a.m. He shared that he reads the Wall Street Journal to catch up on “key business, industry, and broader economic news.” After Adamolekun said he chats separately with the company’s chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO), Brad Hill, about the “previous day’s operating results” and “any relevant corporate planning or financial issues,” respectively. The CEO noted that his chats with the C-suite executives are informal and “open-door.”

How does he keep track of everything going on at once? The answer, a good-old Microsoft Word document. Adamolekun said, “Besides my own to-do list, this document also has our company vision statement, core strategies, and yearly action plan to help keep me centered and focused.” It doesn’t hurt that he has an assistant that keeps his calendar up-to-date.

The madness begins at 8 a.m. when Adamolekun begins attending meetings, oftentimes back-to-back for the remainder of his day according to Business Insider. The executive shared, “I have a rule with my executive assistant not to schedule any meetings before 8 a.m.” The Harvard Business Review shared that time boundaries like Adamolekun’s can help entrepreneurs protect their schedules.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Adamolekun led the company to a 31.7% increase in sales in 2021 compared to the year before. His daily routine seems to be paying off.